According to a 2011 to 2017 cloud forecast report released by Gartner, the cloud was only getting started in 2011, and will subsequently experience accelerated adoption over the next six years. True to the report’s words, the cloud has indeed grown so immensely over the years, it’s expected to hit $250 billion by 2017.

In the first quarter of the decade, we saw organizations adopt the cloud for its basic aspects file sharing, remote data access, big data organizations and reduced computing costs.

As we subsequently switched to the second quarter of 2016, a rather interesting paradigm shift occurred — organizations began exploring other cloud capabilities. Increased competition triggered innovation, which consequently gave birth to new cloud technologies.

So far, more than 25% of software developers worldwide are driving innovation in the cloud, giving rise to futuristic trends in application programming interfaces, marketplaces and cloud application ecosystems.

To celebrate this uptick in fascination with our favorite technology medium, here are five of the most innovative cloud technologies of 2016, which managed to catch our eye.

Totango — Helping SaaS Companies Maintain Their Customers

With about 63% of organizations leveraging private cloud and 88% of them adopting various public cloud solutions, it’s expected that most cloud vendors will continue rolling out enterprise-optimized services — with the hope of winning more subscriptions. For a while now, such vendors have been relying on their in-house teams for lead optimization and conversion, a process which has been a struggle for startups up until now, until Totango showed up.

Totango, a leader in user engagement and customer success, is like a big brother for SaaS companies. It’s essentially a cloud application optimized not for the general consumer market, but rather for the cloud and more specifically, SaaS companies. It lifts the burden of customer engagement monitoring off your shoulders, giving you the chance to concentrate on other critical business operations, as it scouts for users who are at a risk of leaving a cloud app. This consequently identifies the right candidates for increased engagement.

So, how does it manage to achieve this?

Totango facilitates a data-driven approach to achieve trial conversion, product adoption and overall customer success. To generate accurate results on customer engagement and health, it not only analyzes consumer behavior and application usage, but also relationships according to billing, CRM and other critical customer relationship systems.

With a system that combines predictive tools, powerful segmentation and big data analytics. Totango is expected to continue guide vendors in taking actions related to customer engagement.

With such an impressive track record, we can only hope to see them spread their services to other types of enterprises, in the near future.

Q.rad — A New Source of Heat For Homes

If you thought the cloud can only be used for computer operations, brace yourself for the innovative Q.rad home heater. For a while now, tech experts have been devising methods of dissipating heat, which is one of the primary by-products of cloud computing, especially when you cram many supercomputers in a small room.

At first, cooling systems seemed like the most thoughtful counteractive measure…until eBay, Facebook and Google began reclaiming waste heat for other uses.

A French startup company, Quarnot, took the idea and refined it to create what is now popularly referred to as the Q.rad home heater. Contrary to other home heating systems, which principally convert electrical energy to heat, the Q.rad simply dissipates heat produced by its on-board microprocessors to raise the overall temperature of a room.

So, does that mean you should consistently engage a computer with heavy data processing during the Winter? Interestingly and rather amazingly — No.

Each Q.rad device is only a part of a cloud computing architecture, which processes data on various processors, and subsequently, distributes the heat across multiple layers. With that, a cloud user based in the tropics could be helping heat up your home, even when the computer isn’t actively engaged.

In case you’re worried about the electricity it consumes, you’ll be pleased to learn that the company monitors all the devices and subsequently refunds users on their electrical bills, on a monthly basis. As the cloud keeps growing, it’s only a matter of time before we ultimately see such gadgets being leveraged for cooking and stuff.

MECH5 — Cloud Based Vehicle Analysis and Diagnosis

We all knew that it was a matter of time before the cloud finally caught up with the automobile industry. So far, there have been attempts by various companies to offer cloud services tailored for various aspects of the automobile industry, and nothing, according to us, is as impressive as Nebula System’s MECH5.

Forget all the hullabaloo about remotely controlled car alarm systems — MECH5 (YouTube link) now facilitates secure access to an entire vehicle’s data bus, through a cloud-based analytics platform, which is compatible with all modern vehicle models.

So, why is this even important in the first place? The system goes through generic OBD protocols to facilitate uninterrupted OEM level control unit (ECU) access and subsequently analyze, monitor and control a car’s:

  • Infotainment
  • Service system
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Body control
  • Airbag
  • Anti-lock braking
  • Dashboard
  • Engine

By enabling the extraction of critical data from any vehicle model, the cloud system aims to become the primary data management platform for connected car ecosystems. In addition to ECU programming, MECH5 also offers ECU component activation, uninterrupted sensor data access and OEM error code reading/erasing.

With time, we hope to see MECH5 being adopted by statutory bodies for traffic and road safety management. Nebula Systems should also gradually develop it to a level, where movement is even limited for vehicles, when traffic lights turn red.

ParknCloud — Saving You From parking Tickets

And still on the subject of vehicles, ParknCloud is another innovative cloud technology that can save you from parking tickets in the near future. Since the invention of parking meters in the 1930’s, parking payment and allocation systems have progressively developed over the years, incorporating networking, credit cards and solar panels. In a bid to increase convenience and protect money.

Considering the high cost of infrastructure maintenance and the cumbersome payment process, Parkncloud saw the need to develop a cloud app that’s perfectly optimized for both users and municipalities.

The application, which was a Cloud Innovation World Cup winner in 2015, offers a virtual parking environment that users can conveniently pay for without even having to leave their cars. It also eases congestion, by helping users find convenient parking slots within their vicinity.

To effectually serve a wide range of cities, the application is powered by Google’s Cloud Infrastructure, which is arguably one of the fastest, most expansive and secure cloud platforms in the world. With such backing and support, we hope to see more municipalities take up this trend, to capitalize on the opportunity, and subsequently monetize their parking areas with almost zero infrastructural support.

Classle — Revolutionizing Post-Secondary Education

Our final spot goes to a social application, that’s revolutionizing an entire industry, by making the world a better place.

Now, if you thought going to class is a rather cumbersome process, which should be simplified through the right tech solutions, Classle is the right app for you. The app takes a unique approach to virtual learning environments, it’s ideal for students who’d rather stay in bed the whole day, than waddle from class to class.

Instead of just sending random notes to scholars, Classle provides an expansive information hub, where students can conveniently search for information, on a platform facilitating connections between students and professors/experts. It’s based on an open source technology, that also hosts live online video and audio classes, where students can ask questions and consult experts on various topics and subjects.

Due to its ability to conveniently avail relevant learning materials at the touch of a button, Classle is gaining traction in rural areas and third-world countries.

With time, it’s predicted to grow into an educational social networking platform, that will efficaciously connect students from different parts of the world, consequently expanding available educational resources.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve revealed what we think are the five most innovative technologies in the cloud today, what are your thoughts on our list?

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